What drives your business? You can probably point to a number of things: your employees, your dedication to customer service, your cutting-edge products and services.
However, some argue that one thing that drives progress, innovation and achievement is simple. It’s imagination. It’s that next idea. It’s coming up with something brand new or solving a problem in a new way. That’s more important than anything else that you do.
In that sense, your intellectual property is actually the most valuable thing you own. If you come up with an innovative idea, even if you have not yet made it into a solid product, it’s that idea that puts you in a position to succeed. All of the biggest, most successful companies in the world started with ideas, and those that continue to thrive are typically those that are always looking for the next idea. They do not get complacent. They keep working to take that next step.
If that is your goal, you also understand the need to protect your company’s ideas, to protect the product of your imagination. If someone else took that information, they could seriously hurt your company or earn based on what you created. They could cut into your profits. It may not feel like traditional theft — taking a physical item — but that’s exactly what it is. It is theft of the most valuable asset that you own.
When this happens, it is critical that you understand all of the legal options you have. You need to know what steps to take to protect yourself and your company.